The other day I saw an article on social media that I’ve seen a few times before. It’s one of those strange things you see and dismiss as a joke. As it pops up regularly I decided to do a search on it, and found out that this is a real thing. This is something that somebody thought was a good idea, and enough other somebodies agreed so that this went from an idea to a product.
This is a dildo called 21 grams, and it’s made of glass, with a brass insert into which can be placed the ashes of a loved one. Yes, you read that right, the ashes of a loved one. Now the world of sex toys is a lucrative business, that’s well known. The range of dildos and vibrators is stunning in the variety of shapes, styles and colours – although admittedly with a big leaning towards pastel hues.
This particular one is made of clear glass with a pale grey end, and comes in a pale grey case. It is not, to my eyes, attractive or elegant. The design of the dildo is the same as that of a cheap vibrator, and that was what I thought it was until I read the article. The storage box is chunky, with a kind of retro feel, a bit like a 1970’s lunch box. The name, 21 grams, refers to the weight loss a person is supposed to experience at the time of death, something which I believe has been discredited.
People use vibrators and dildos for pleasure, obviously. Singles and couples use them for fun or to increase intimacy. They don’t use them to replicate or to simulate intimacy. I just cannot get my head around the thought that a person could use this particular dido as a way of recreating intimacy with a lost loved one. The inventor says that the storage box can be used to store personal items of meaning, such as a wedding ring and a handkerchief. The items can be taken out while remembering sweet times with the deceased.
As well as the dildo, the storage box has speakers and an iPod/iPhone dock, and even a perfume atomizer. It has a key that can be worn as a pendant. It is supposed to be tasteful and a way of reconnecting to the deceased. The designer even said that he got the idea from his friendship with an elderly lady who kept her husband’s ashes in an urn and talked to him regularly.
Quite how he made the leap from conversation to sex is beyond me. But there it is. It’s all a bit icky, and kind of dark. Do people really want to have sex with their deceased loved ones? What bothers me about this is not so much the necrophilia association that I can’t help making, but the apparent lack of understanding of intimacy, at least my understanding of intimacy.
Intimacy isn’t soft music, perfume, and sex with a glass dildo. Intimacy cannot be recreated in that way. Intimacy with a lost loved one can’t be recreated at all and certainly not by using a dildo filled with the ashes of your spouse.
Yes, intimacy is sex, but it’s a special kind of sex that is shared only by lovers and it cannot be recreated. Intimacy is conversation, shared laughter, memories and thoughts. Intimacy is a soft touch, a kiss on the forehead, watching movies together or talking about the day just gone. Intimacy is a cup of tea in bed, a favourite meal prepared, an ear to listen. Intimacy is sitting in silence because words are not needed, a glance exchanged with perfect understanding.
This seems to me seems to be such a lonely concept, it almost makes me cry even to think about it. I can’t see how it could in any way help the one left behind. If they need an outlet, I don’t think this is the way to get it. I don’t think a bereaved person would think so either. Is this an example of the difference between how the mind works in a man and a woman? I don’t think so. Maybe it is, instead, an example of the thinking process of someone who has never been in a loving relationship, or has never lost a loved one. I don’t know.
I am all for each to his own, and live and let live. Everyone is different and that’s fine. So long as nobody gets hurt I believe that we are all free to be the weird little freaks that we all are in some way. I don’t think that race, colour, religion, age, sex, or culture should be an issue. If the people concerned are happy that’s all that matters, especially in this world full of anger and hate.
So, I guess, there are many ways to deal with grief. Perhaps the designer was merely trying to help make grief bearable. I can’t see it though, I just can’t.
If you want to read the article, the link is here: 21 Grams
And if you want to check out this about something that I can see would help with grief, take a look at this article on a weighted blanket: Grieving blanket